, Salem, MA

Local News

September 11, 2010

Big drug bust nets pot, pills in Salem

Police: 'Major dealer' had 20 pounds of marijuana

SALEM — Police said they seized more than $100,000 in drugs from a home on Appleton Street yesterday and arrested a Salem man with a long record of drug-trafficking charges.

Ronald Marshall, 63, of 17 Appleton St. had more than 20 pounds of marijuana and dozens of different types of pills in his home, police said.

"You can refer to him as a neighborhood drugstore with the variety of product he had," Salem Detective Jack Doyle said. "This guy had everything."

The arrest concluded a monthlong investigation of Marshall by detectives from Salem, Beverly and Ipswich, as well as the Essex County Sheriff's Department.

Doyle, the lead investigator, said police had received information about a number of drug sales being conducted out of Marshall's home. After undercover officers bought marijuana from Marshall, the task force executed a warrant at his home around 3 p.m. yesterday.

Police found about 20 pounds of marijuana with a street value of at least $75,000, Doyle said. They also found dozens of different types of pills, including morphine, oxycodone, hydrocodone, Adderall and Ritalin.

Marshall was charged with possession of Class B, C and D drugs and intent to distribute, plus intent to distribute in a school zone, because of the nearby Bates School.

Marshall was born in Salem, Doyle said, but has numerous prior drug-trafficking convictions and weapons charges in Florida, Kentucky and Connecticut, as well as Massachusetts.

He has served time in federal prison, Doyle said.

Marshall did not have any guns but did have a collection of swords and knives, Doyle said.

Staff writer Paul Leighton can be reached at 978-338-2675 or by e-mail at

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